Legislature(1997 - 1998)

05/08/1998 01:35 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
    SENATE COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE                              
                     May 8, 1998                                               
                      1:35 p.m.                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
Senator Jerry Mackie, Chairman                                                 
Senator Gary Wilken , Vice Chairman                                            
Senator Dave Donley                                                            
Senator Randy Phillips                                                         
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
All members present                                                            
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 230(FIN)                                                 
"An Act amending the definition of 'small community' for purposes              
of housing programs involving the Alaska Housing Finance                       
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 56(RLS)                                      
Relating to yttrium mining and transfer of the linear induction                
motor research vehicle to Alaska.                                              
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                               
HB 230 - No previous action to record.                                         
HJR 56 - No previous action to record.                                         
WITNESS REGISTER                                                               
Tom Wright, Staff to Representative Ivan Ivan                                  
State Capitol                                                                  
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered information on HB 230                           
Doug Salik, Intern in Representative Bill Hudson's                             
State Capitol                                                                  
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented overview on HJR 56                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                               
TAPE 98-9, SIDE A                                                              
Number 001                                                                     
CHAIRMAN MACKIE called the Senate Community & Regional Affairs                 
Committee meeting to order at 1:35 p.m., and noted the presence of             
Senators Wilken, Donley, Philips, Hoffman and Mackie.                          
          CSHB 230(FIN) - AHFC HOUSING FUNDS & PROGRAMS                        
CHAIRMAN MACKIE brought CSHB 230(FIN) before the committee as the              
first order of business.                                                       
TOM WRIGHT, staff to Representative Ivan Ivan who is the prime                 
sponsor of HB 230, said the bill is very simple; it changes the                
population caps in Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's (AHFC)                 
rural home loan program.  For those communities that are connected             
by road or rail to Anchorage or Fairbanks it changes the cap from              
1,400 to 1,600, and it changes the cap for those communities not               
connected by road or rail to Anchorage or Fairbanks from 5,500 to              
6,500.  He said Haines has exceeded the 1,400 cap and Bethel is                
rapidly approaching the 5,500 cap.                                             
Number 025                                                                     
SENATOR DONLEY asked what the difference was between the rural home            
program and the AHFC's regular home loan program.  TOM WRIGHT                  
replied that the rural loan program relates to the rural areas                 
where there is not necessarily title to land or conveyance of land;            
peculiarities out in the rural areas that are not found in the                 
urban areas.  He also thinks the interest is one percent less than             
the normal home loan program.  However, he pointed out that there              
is no veterans' home loan program or first-time home buyers program            
in the rural home loan program as found in the urban loan program.             
SENATOR DONLEY expressed his concern that this program gives a                 
special subsidy just because people live in a small community                  
versus living in a big community.                                              
Number 083                                                                     
CHAIRMAN MACKIE commented that the bill is only making a minor                 
change to the program which is changing the caps.                              
Number 087                                                                     
SENATOR WILKEN moved that CSHB 230(FIN) be passed out of committee             
with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so              
                  CSHJR 56(RLS) - YTTRIUM MINING                               
CHAIRMAN MACKIE brought CSHJR 56(RLS) before the committee as the              
next order of business.                                                        
DOUG SALIK, an intern in Representative Bill Hudson's office,                  
explained the resolution urges the Federal Railroad Administration             
to transfer the Linear Induction Motor Research Vehicle (LIMRV) to             
the state of Alaska.  This transfer will allow for some potential              
development of new industrial and research business in Alaska.  The            
development of yttrium, a rare earth element, could revitalize the             
Ketchikan and southeast area of Alaska, including Prince of Wales              
Island where yttrium is mined.                                                 
In closing, Mr. Salik said the Power Superconductor Applications               
Corporation would use local employment in converting the LIMRV, and            
no state funding is requested at this time.                                    
Number 170                                                                     
SENATOR WILKEN asked if yttrium is found in other areas of the                 
state.  MR. SALIK thought it had been found in other areas of the              
state but not in such mass quantities as on Prince of Wales Island.            
Number 185                                                                     
CHAIRMAN MACKIE directed attention to a proposed SCS CSHJR 56(STA).            
As the resolution was originally introduced it spoke to doing                  
production facilities in Ketchikan, Metlakatla and other places                
other than Prince of Wales Island so the committee substitute adds             
"Prince of Wales Island or elsewhere" in the appropriate places.               
Number 200                                                                     
SENATOR PHILLIPS moved adoption of SCS CSHJR 56(STA) as a working              
document, and hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                         
Number 221                                                                     
SENATOR WILKEN expressed concern that the resolution directs the               
activity to Southeast Alaska, and he suggested it should refer to              
just Alaska as it does in the title of the legislation, and then               
let someone else decide the best place in Alaska for the activity.             
Number 247                                                                     
SENATOR WILKEN moved that any geographical references to Southeast             
Alaska be deleted from SCS CSHJR 56(STA) and have it refer to                  
Alaska in general.  CHAIRMAN MACKIE objected to the amendment, and             
stated that it was just a resolution and he preferred to leave it              
as is.                                                                         
SENATOR WILKEN stated he doesn't mind mining yttrium wherever it               
is, but he finds it objectionable to state as a state policy that              
if somebody does read this resolution, we've directed them to do               
something with the LIMRV in Southeast Alaska.                                  
Number 285                                                                     
MR. SALIK related that it was his understanding that the Power                 
Superconductor Corporation wanted to keep it in the Southeast area             
to do some tests in the Annette Field area, as well as taking the              
LIMRV to Skagway for tests on the rail system to the railbelt in               
Number 320                                                                     
SENATOR WILKEN suggested leaving in Prince of Wales Island in                  
Southeast Alaska wherever it has to do with mining, but to delete              
the reference wherever it has to do with LIMRVs.  He then moved the            
following amendment to SCS CSHJR 56(CRA)                                       
Amendment No. 1                                                                
Page 1, line 15:  Delete "Prince of Wales Island or elsewhere in               
Southeast Alaska"                                                              
Page 2, line 8:  Delete "Southeast"                                            
Page 2, line 17:  After the word "facility" delete "on Prince of               
Wales Island or elsewhere" and after the word "in" delete                      
Page 2, line 21:  Delete "on Prince of Wales Island or elsewhere in            
Page 2, line 28:  Delete "Southeast"                                           
CHAIRMAN MACKIE stated his strong objection to the amendment and               
requested a roll call vote on the adoption of the amendment.  The              
roll was taken with the following result:  Senators Donley and                 
Wilken voted "Yea" and Senators Hoffman, Phillips and Mackie voted             
"Nay."  CHAIRMAN MACKIE stated the motion failed.                              
CHAIRMAN MACKIE suggested just deleting the word "Southeast"                   
throughout the resolution, with the intent of the committee that it            
states "in Alaska."                                                            
Number 390                                                                     
SENATOR PHILLIPS moved the following amendment to SCS CSHJR
Amendment No. 2                                                                
Delete the word "Southeast" wherever it appears in the resolution.             
Hearing no objection, CHAIRMAN MACKIE stated Amendment No. 2 was               
CHAIRMAN MACKIE requested a motion to move the resolution from                 
SENATOR DONLEY moved SCS CSHJR 56(CRA), as amended, pass out of                
committee with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection,              
it was so ordered.                                                             
There being no further business to come before the committee, the              
meeting adjourned at 2:04 p.m.                                                 

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